On behalf of Law, Politics, and Change, Happy Veterans Day to the women and men who have served and defended our country. Thank you for your service.
Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 marked an incredible day in America’s history. Voters took to the polls and elected candidates on local, state, and national levels. Of course, the country was seemingly in a state of shock after Donald J. Trump was elected as our 45th president. Additionally, Republicans retained control of the Senate and House of Representatives. It is likely that the Supreme Court nominee and next justice will also be a conservative jurist. This means that all three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial will likely be conservative.
Trumps victory was a shock to much of the nation as the media, pollsters, and many political pundits predicted that Secretary Hillary Clinton would be our next Commander-in-Chief. Some theorists have suggested that Clinton was not likable, failed to capture the attention and votes of millennials, and minority voters. Others have suggested that minority voters and millennials are to blame for Clinton’s painstaking loss. Potentially, it was the redundant email scandal or the Bengazi attack issue. In hindsight, she loss by a lot and the election showed a sharp divide of support between the two candidates.
What many thought was illogical or impossible happened and we as a nation witnessed what many did not expect. Although, protests have started in many cities across the country and on social media against Trump as our next President, Hillary Clinton and President Obama have respected the voice of the voters. They have encouraged Americans to embrace him and respect him as our next President. Hillary Clinton gave a graceful and poised concession speech yesterday, where she admonished her supporters and the country to give Donald Trump an “open mind and a chance to lead.”
President-Elect Trump has outlined what he plans to do during his first 100 days in office, where he hopes to impose term limits for members of Congress; impose greater lobbying bans, cancel some executive orders; select a nominee for the Supreme Court; work on this country’s infrastructure; and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Some Americans are happy, while many are terrified about the outcome of the election. Regardless of how we feel about Mr. Trump time will only tell what his legacy will be, and how he will impact our country as our 45th President. It is incumbent that we as Americans focus on how we can contribute to improving the current state of our country and communities. We must recognize that a Trump presidency may not be what we wanted, hoped for, or even anticipated; but it is now our reality. So, it is time for all of us to work to improve our condition and pray for the best.
Historic Wins for Women
This election was also very special, because many women were elected to very key positions. The following women were victorious on Tuesday as they shattered glass ceilings:
- Catherine Cortez Masto-(NV): She was elected as the first Latina Senator elected to the U.S. Senate. She was elected to succeed Harry Reid.
- Tammy Duckworth-(IL): She was elected as the second Asian-American Senator. She is an Iraq war veteran, who lost both her legs in a 2004 helicopter accident. She is also the first Thai-woman elected to Congress.
- Kamala Harris-(CA): She was elected as the first Indian-American woman, and the second African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. She is also California’s first African American woman Senator.
- Pramila Jayapal-(WA): She is the first Indian-American woman elected to the House of Representative.
- Stephanie Murphy-(FL): She is the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to the House of Representative.
- Ilhan Omar-(MN): She is the first Somali-American, Muslim woman elected to a state legislature.
The election of these women shows that our country is progressive on some level, and ready for women to lead. It is important that this election serve as a reminder that there is much work for each of us to do. We need more diversity in public office, and we have to become the change we wish to see starting today. Let’s get to work!
Ben and Jerry’s, the ice cream company that we all know and love took an audacious stance in support of the Black Lives Matter(BLM) movement and message. Last week, the corporation in an unprecedented, and very unconventional manner decided to offer support for the movement. The company boldly declared that “All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black Lives Matter.”
The company’s purpose to bring awareness to social justice issues and racism that exist within our society. Ben and Jerry’s also published a blog post on its website, “7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism is Real” outlining 7-core areas where systemic racism still exists: wealth, employment, education, criminal justice, housing, surveillance, and healthcare. Earlier this year, Ben and Jerry’s put up money to support voting rights efforts by creating the “Empower Mint” flavored ice cream and vowing to donate funds from the sale of the ice cream to the North Carolina NAACP.
Ben and Jerry’s decided to take a stance and engage in the movement to “ensure justice.” The company desires to empower and encourage people to “act toward justice…and to act from a place of power and love rather than fear and anger.” But, Ben and Jerry’s is not the only company to take get involved in the movement and conversation.
AT& T CEO, Randall Stephenson and T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere both recently spoke out about the way Black people are treated in America. Speaking to AT&T employees at a company conference, Stephenson addressed the issue of racial tension within our country also by declaring that “Black Lives Matter.” He challenged employees to be uncomfortable and to have the challenging conversations around race.
These corporations have taken a bold yet necessary step in the conversation regarding race relations in this country. Many companies have not been as forthright and direct as Ben and Jerry’s, or as transparent as Randall Stephenson in explaining a friend’s experience as a man of color. However, when CEOs of corporations are taking the time to shift the conversation from sales to social justice issues there must be a major issue, and a lot at stake.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and Ben and Jerry’s each may have a different reason or rationale for joining the national conversation regarding racism, policing in communities of color, voting rights, and the many issues that plague black and brown communities. The bottomline is that these corporations will suffer on some level without the support of people of color. The economy and corporations suffer when there is unrest and highly tense social climates.
It is not just our elected officials , educators, or grassroots organizers who play a vital role in the national discourse and dialogue; but corporations do as well. They play a major role as many Americans are consumers, employees, and investors. Corporations must begin to integrate social justice awareness and platforms into their marketing and messaging moving forward to be effective and successful in business.